Bungie Weekly Update: 5/23/08
Posted by lukems at 5/23/2008 5:53 PM PDT
June Bugs

Flipping the calendar to a new month means it is time for another refresh to Halo 3’s Matchmaking playlists. A detailed changelist for the month of June is below. Direct your vitriol, adoration and quirky one-liners to the Optimatch Forum.


ADDED Head to Head (Ranked)

  • 1vs 1 hopper
  • Relies primarily on Duels-style Slayer (indicator over the head of the person with the high score)
  • Smaller maps customized in Forge
  • Low weighted instances of Oddball and KotH


  • v5 map variants added
  • Forge map “Amplified” added for Slayer and KotH
  • Blackout replaces Guardian as Oddball map
  • Legendary not required on this playlist.


  • ShWATguns variant added
  • Shotty starts
  • No shields, 150% damage resistance
  • SWATball variant added
  • SWAT style oddball
  • 200 points to win
  • SWAT 2 Flag variant added
  • SWAT style Capture the Flag
  • On The Pit and Snowbound
  • Players can not return flags, returns after 15 seconds on its own.
  • 3 Flags to win


UPDATED Team Slayer

  • Decreased weighting on BR start game types

UPDATED Team Objective

  • Increased weighting on symmetrical map/gametype combinations, Example: Multi Flag on The Pit
  • Increased weighting on asymmetrical map/gametype combinations, Example: 1 Flag on High Ground

UPDATED Ranked Big Team

  • Ranked Big Team will be worth double EXP for the month of June
  • All restrictions are being removed.
  • Fixed bug from May Mid-Month update that made the playlist require Legendary (The June playlist will only require Heroic)
  • If Ranked Big Team does not perform well this month, it may be retired in July.


UPDATED Social Slayer

  • Team Snipers “Score to Win” requirement increased to 50



  • Reintegrated Heroic Maps


  • Increased focus on asymmetrical games on Avalanche, symmetrical games on Ghost Town
  • Reintegrated Heroic maps

Double EXP Weekends (In order of appearance)

ADDED Rockets

  • 8 Player FFA Insanity

UPDATED Grifball Spring League

  • Bug fixes from the May version so that Carrier Damage Resistance is correct
  • Bug fix so forced player color is correct when carrying the bomb.

UPDATED Team Snipers

  • Score to Win requirements increased to 50 for slayer games

ADDED 3 Ball

  • 4v4v4v4 Gametypes with 3 Oddballs


Prince Albums, NASA and Carbonite

Because of the hub-bub that vacuumed up my time since I re-entered the Americas, I hadn’t got back up to speed with Purple Reign and Moonbase Alpha’s progress. Near final (“These are the final names” is what some adults told me, but Ghost Town’s name changed at the last possible moment) names have settled into their resting place in the game UI. Don’t read too much into that as a sign that these maps are rapidly descending upon you – rapid isn’t the right word. Besides, the Legendary Map Pack released just over a month ago.

Decorators and detail have brought subtle differences to each of Purple Reign’s symmetrical bases. One base of this open-air arena could end up getting called “Energy side” and another call-out could end up “Hunter side.” Geometrically, Purple Reign is built on a bowl, with some gentle concavity on the floor space, dotted with columns for cover. Four elevated walkways converge in a small bi-level center structure that sports a cache of important items.

Aesthetically, Moonbase Alpha’s labyrinthine hallways are still cleanly beautiful, but there’s something almost haunting about the empty UNSC space platform. Decorators have brought things like wastebaskets and eerie signs of human life – but there’s a feeling of abrupt abandonment throughout the level. The shrine to Doctors Tobias Fleming Shaw and Wallace Fujikawa is a flourish, but still just creepy. Maybe it’s not scary at all and I’m just a sissy. I’m sure folks will let me know when they play on the Moonbase.

Before I went on holiday, Smuggler was a fun foray into rat-in-a-cage levels of carnage. Around each corner, atop each walkway, or camping the top ledge of a middle room was a Shishka, a Sketch, a Frankie or some other unnamable, jarring horror. Upon returning, Smuggler has become a picture perfect nearly majestic play space with sinister undertones. Pristine construction is foiled by a staunch reminder of how often the best laid plans can fail.

What’s What

Lobster Fish2: I just would like to know why Shishka's little brain put up Living Dead this Weekend

Shishka’s Brain Says: "I know the idea of returning a popular playlist with additional gametypes and map variants may seem difficult to grasp for some. Thankfully I'm here to understand that having a playlist that averages 25,000 people means it's probably popular enough to bring back from time to time. You can rest your tired brain now; I know the stress must've been great. Adults have everything under control.”

Wow, Shishka’s brain is a jerk.

Jay120171: Is RBTB going away until a later date? If so, any idea when and for how long?

We’re still discussing the fate and future of Ranked Big Team Battle. Last week’s Update explained some of the dog-chasing-its-tail problems with the Hopper adults are still talking about what to do with the hopper. IF Ranked Big Team goes away, it’s definitely something that we’d work on tweaking, improving and fixing and then reintroducing into the Matchmaking climate further down the road.

Second accounters have been a hot topic lately. Do you guys care about this issue or should people just live with it?

A lot of folks have asked about this via forums, in private messages and even at the grocery store (seriously).

“Second accounters,” for folks who don’t know, are people who’ve created new Xbox Live accounts for the purpose of leveling quickly (or releveling, period) in Halo 3. The theory being that they can blaze their way through leveling up, progressing faster than they are on their “main” (an account with a high amount of games played).

Sure, we care about the experience that people are having in Matchmaking, but in terms of actual violations there aren’t any wrongs being committed by creating a new Xbox Live Gold account and re-leveling. Sure, there’s some discomfort for other players on the way up as these high leveled-players steamroll through lower ranks, but getting whomped on or throwing someone a fierce beatdown in Halo 3 isn’t “cheating.” Losing is almost always unpleasant, we understand that. Because these new accounts get accelerated through the ranks, the harsh whomping period is pretty short. If you’re in Team Slayer facing a team of level 45 Captains and you and your Brigadier/General brosephs get housed – you got yours. Take it like a hero.

The Banhammer isn't designed to detect new accounts leveling quickly. What the Banhammer is designed to detect (and punish) are attempts to illicitly manipulate the network or matchmaking systems. However, we’ve seen some pretty questionable behavior involving people are leveling faster than they should be via chicanery that is affecting other players' experiences – and negatively affecting the others' experience is the high sign that the Banhammer should be pulled off of the shelf, like your Dad's favorite hunting rifle. We’re looking into these cases and if wrongs are being done, punishment will be swift and justice will be final.

And on the heels of that…

SpudMuffin: I want to sit down and spend a bunch of days to get my rank up, but I'm starting to hear a lot of rumors about a level reset. Can you give the official word - will a level reset happen, or no?

TheUnitarian: Will you guys be resetting the ranks in BTB instead of just taking it away for good?

We have no plans of any kind to reset Ranks in Halo 3. That said, we aren’t thrilled with the way the lines have blurred between EXP and Rank – your rank is really just a number we’re using to match you with other similarly ranked players – and that line blurring something we’re spending a lot of time looking at.

Tehviruss: Now that we know Frankie is off to Microsoft to work more with the Halo series, should we expect many more games set in the Halo universe in the years to come?

Considering the retail success of Bungie’s Halo, it makes fiscal sense for Microsoft to craft more games set in the Halo universe. Frank’s recent departure and the job postings we addressed a few weeks ago (for Chronicles, which we are not involved with) certainly indicate a desire to further expand into the Halo universe. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labor.

X Foman123 x: It was once mentioned that Armor Permutation DLC is unlikely to happen due to hard-coding issues. Yet, it still seems like Community Members would love to see Armor Permutation DLC. Has there been any progress on this, or is Bungie not looking into it any further?

We’re absolutely aware of the massive community outcry and desire to have new armor permutations added to Halo 3. It’s been investigated thoroughly and there will not be any new armor permutations added to Halo 3.

Alex048: Also when will Bungie start to give information on their latest project(s)?

Commando3200: When are we going to get some information about new projects from Bungie?

Turaga008: When will Bungie’s next project be revealed?

Remember how long it was after Halo 2 until Halo 3 was announced? The wait won’t be quite as long for the announcement of our next project.

Cpv18: What’s your secret project that Bungie is hiding from us? Should I be scared?

You shouldn’t be scared. But your pants should be.

Spachman420: Is it possible to make Team Swat Spartans only?

Nope. It isn’t possible to restrict character model selection based on a playlist in Halo 3. It was definitely something we researched and investigated, but it is not something that will be changed in Halo 3.

Elessar: Now that Frank's gone, who do you report to? Are YOU the new Frank? If so, who's the new Luke?

As of this writing, I report directly to Bungie's very own Gene Simmons - Marty O'Donnell. The Ivory Tower is a modern marvel, a vacuum that bends space and time to its will.

The DERAGOTH: Any plans for another Bungie.net update?

Chris (Running Turtle), Tom (Achronos) and Stosh (Blame Him!) are working on something new, sweet and excellent that is coming to Bungie.net. We’re going to blow it out next week. Tune in.

Ryaaan14: Will we ever get a "Save Film" option in the post-game lobby, so we won't have to leave our party to save a game?

Fundamental changes to the UI (like the above suggestion) are out of scope for any plans we may have for Halo 3 going forward.

NATHAN J GUSTO: Is having clans OK and is Bungie ever going to make clans?

We won’t be supporting clans at the “game level” in Halo 3. “Clans” in Halo 2 were essentially just a second Friend’s List. If at some point in the future Microsoft introduced a clan system into their Xbox Live structure, we’d absolutely look at how a Bungie game would utilize that feature (we don’t know what the guys over in Redmond are up to, but we’ll do what we can to be agile if there is such a change).

Thattacker: Where oh where have the Humpday Challenges gone?

They’ve been gone, they’ll be back. Some chumps didn’t write up their Humpday(s) while I was gone and I’ve been a bit swamped since getting back. They’ll return in some capacity and the long-rumored “lost Humpday” with Ubisoft will finally surface.

Bootsman: What's the craziest thing going around the office right now? In terms of inside jokes and catchphrases?

If my Bungie Spam email folder could talk.

Jordan117: Will we ever learn the original storyline for Halo 2? On at least two occasions (a podcast and the commentary track on the Halo 3 Legendary disc), someone was about to explain how Bungie originally intended to end the game before Marty jumped in and hushed them up about it. Will we ever find out?

While I’m not in a position to say “no, you will never hear about that” – it doesn’t seem likely that you will anytime soon. It took Brian Wilson 30 years to make SMiLE.

ReleasetheMonk: When will the Legendary DLC be free?

There are no plans that we are aware of to make the Legendary Maps free, ever.

JustAbout475: So does Frankie still get all the stuff he had (like gold txt and flaming armor) now that he doesn't work at Bungie?

The fire has been extinguished.

Bearded_Elf: Will you guys take player submissions for DBL exp sometime?

Shishka is always perusing the Optimatch Forum. A well-thought out post, with detailed, well-written descriptions and plans would be well received there.

Fdsadfaeeavadsf: How is the Webmaster adjusting to the loss of Nathan and Frankie? Will we be seeing from him soon?

Initially, there was rage and fist-pounding. Then, a single tear followed by quiet resolve.

Hiokami: How close is Bungie to completing the giant slingshot that will catapult their enemies into the sun?

It’s in the prototyping phase. Some of Doyle’s He-Man figures have had a really rough 2008.

Darth Zunith: Do you think the community complains too much?

The complaints are heavy, frequent and at times, a bit unreasonable, but any vitriol is just a crime of passion. We’re lucky to have such a vocal, outspoken and often hilarious group of people who love our games.

Months and months and months ago, there was a small meeting among studio leadership, discussing what “what a Bungie game” is. One of the conclusions: A Bungie game is a game that drives, engages, galvanizes, and energizes a Community. You're vital.

The candy is for you folks, get in the van.

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